Book Help for 10 year old Nephew

OK I’ve taken to buying books for my nieces and nephew for Christmas. Because, my siblings, lord love them, will buy their spawn every possible toy but would never willingly spend money on a book that isn’t necessary for school. So yep I’m the Aunt-who-only-gives-books.

I’m ok with the girls, but DeNephew is a bit of trouble. He’s always been very interested in medical stuff so I’ve gotten him this book, An American Plague : The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. But now I’m having second thoughts. He lives many states away and I never get to see him.

I’m also giving him ***Where the Sidewalk Ends * ** by Shel Silverstein so it’s not all bad. What do y’all think? Too ooky?

Crap. DeNephew’s 12 years old not 10. Sorry.

How about Stiff, by Mary Roach? Medical, icky, and fascinating.

Good on you for being the book-aunt!

What is he like, personality-wise? Is he serious, funny, shy, adventurous, etc.? What does he like to do? Do you know his approximate reading level?

I see that I didn’t really answer the question; sorry 'bout that. The book looks fine to me as far as subject matter goes…my reservation is whether your nephew reads at that level.

Well his first words were “touch down”. No I’m not making that up.

He’s being groomed as the next great hope of the sports world. He’s quite smart when he doesn’t think anyone is paying attention. I’ve given him The New Way Things Work, *Where The Red Fern Grows * and The Bridge to Terabithia and he enjoyed them all. His mother only cares that the books are awards winners. So I’m trying to get something weird and interesting.

I came in here to suggest The New Way Things Work, but I see you’ve already got that one. My 10 year old wants some of the Ripley’s books - he’s fascinated by them. I was also going to suggest Captain Underpants, but that’s more for the 9 - 10 set than a 12 year old.

He’s only allowed to read award winning books? WTH? I think we can probably come up with a list of great books that never won a thing.

We really like the DK Eyewitness books. They have them on just about any conceivable subject, including medicine:,,11_0751361437,00.html

That’s from a uk site, but they are widely available.

Actually, a medical related book that may not be quite so scary, and still fascinating reading, is Olver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. It may be a bit tough reading for a 12 yo, but on the other hand it doesn’t sound that advanced over the other medical book you’ve got selected. Another medical book that I remember as being a good, and fairly easy, read was Virus X - Tracking the New Killer Plagues, by Frank Ryan. While the topic is intellectually frightening, the author doesn’t sensationalize them, presenting the history of several modern viral outbreaks as mysteries to be solved.

While I can see why you’d be a little uncertain about your selection, my gut reaction is to go with it. At that age I was reading Edward Rowe Snow, and Moby Dick. Listening to and indulging a child’s own interests at a serious level is rarely a mistake, IMNSHO.

I’d like to second this suggestion. My ten year old son has had a few of these books for a couple of years now. I’m pretty sure I picked most, if not all, of them up from Barnes and Noble.

Good for you, DeVena, for buying your niece and nephew books. I’m shocked to learn their parents don’t. Shocked!

Try Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Very well-written & wonderfully snarky and subversive.

Or perhaps Louis Sachar’s Holes for the same reason.

I read the American Plague book. It’s aimed at his reading level, and is really interesting.

There are LOTS of gross and disgusting biology books aimed at 10-year-olds…they’re really good and contain good info. Just search Amazon.

For fiction for a 10-year-old I recommend:

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos
Jack on the Tracks by Jack Gantos
Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen

Moving this from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Well, as another aunt who tends to buy too many books, I say just keep the nephew’s preferences in mind and go with it. My niece is 11 and really isn’t a big “sit down and read” type person, but if I get her horror books, she’s all over them. So I find stuff like R.L. Stine and the like for her. (I can’t wait until she’s old enough for Stephen King, heh heh heh! Don’t think her mom would appreciate that yet though.)

Now if anyone knows about books on electronics for a 15-year-old, tell me about those! :stuck_out_tongue:

Any Gary Paulsen, really.

Hatchet and The River are both great.

I’ll second Gary Paulson – my son liked his books when he was 10 - 12. Also, Nick liked the Lynn Reid Banks series starting with The Indian in the Cupboard and all of Elvira Woodruff’s books – especially Awfully Short For the Fourth Grade (about a kid who shrinks down to the size of his action figures) and its sequel. He also enjoyed historical novels: Johnny Tremain was a favorite, also all of G. Clifton Wisler’s books. One he really loved was Ghost Cadet by Elaine Marie Alphin – that one is about the VMI cadets killed at the battle of New Market during the Civil War. For classics, Nick liked all of Edward Eager’s books, and he absolutely adored the Great Brain books by John Dennis Fitzgerald. Nick is 18 now (going in the Navy in 11 days!), but I remember these particular books because he loved them so much he wanted his own copies (except for the Eager and Fitzgerald books, which I already owned) and kept them. He still rereads them all once in a while.

Collected Tales and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, Samuel Clemens- Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings,
some good books on Norse, Roman & Greek mythology (maybe Bulfinch’s Mythology as an intro)- oh, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Wonder Book and Tanglewood Tales, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle

Also, if you can find it- a compassionate & medically interesting book on people with physical abnormalities- VERY SPECIAL PEOPLE

Thank you all for your suggestions!! His parents aren’t readers so it’s kinda weird. She thought *The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe * was pagan when I gave him a graphic novel of it years ago. :rolleyes:

Going to add stuff to my list… :slight_smile:

I wish I had an aunt like you when I was 10. I’ve wanted to be a medical examiner for as long as I can remember. I would have loved a book like that.